What is the origin of the soul? How is the soul related to God? What happens to the soul after death? Ancient scholars attempted to answer these questions in the Tibetan “Book of the Dead,” which appeared in the 8th Century. Researchers believe the author, legendary Buddhist Guru Padmasambkhave, based his work on older sources. The book teaches readers how to die properly, and prepares their souls for reincarnation.
The “Book of the Dead” says the soul is omniscient after death, yet unable to convey thoughts or feelings. During its afterlife journey, the soul sees relatives and acquaintances as they existed in life. The soul observes the body being undressed and prepared for burial. Later, the soul fearlessly and joyfully greets the spirits of the afterlife. The soul looks into a mirror, sees the choices it made in life and understands the goal of its last Earth passage. After judgement, the soul waits 49 days before rebirth.
“Scientific interest in the ‘Book of the Dead’ grew tenfold in the last century,” said Physics Professor, head of Kharkov’s Physics and Technology Institute, State Prize laureate Igor Garin. “Especially when detailed research on after-death conditions was published by Doctor Raymond Moody, author of the bestseller, ‘Life after Life.’ His research was nearly identical to the descriptions outlined in the Tibetan masterpiece. It’s unclear where Padmasambkhave learned what has only now become known to today’s medical specialists.”
Garin believes the soul is located in the subcortex where memories of our past lives are stored. He says these memories can be accessed through psychoanalysis or hypnosis.
The most vital organ
From time immemorial, humans have searched for the root of their soul. Its location has traditionally been associated with the biological processes considered most vital to a given people at a given moment in history. Many peoples believed the chest, stomach and head to house the soul – the organs engaged in the breathing process. Similarly, the Jews believed the blood to be home to the soul. Jehovah’s Witnesses are of this belief today. They refuse blood transfers, fearing that the donor’s soul may be partially transferred to the patient. Eskimos believed the soul to be located in the cervical vertebrae, as they knew blows to the area were deadly. Finally, Babylonians considered ears the most vital organ and believed the soul to be there.
Today, people are still of different minds when it comes to the earthly haven of the soul. German psychologists at Luebeck University conducted an experiment to see where children aged 7-17 believed their soul to be located. The oldest children said the soul was everywhere, and pointed from the head to the knee. The middle bracket said the soul was in the head, and circled their head with their hands. The youngest children placed their fingers to the left of their heart. This was the most popular answer.
Heart is the head
Could the soul actually be in the heart? In recent years, scientists have discovered shocking evidence supporting this claim.
Paul Pearsall, a psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, spoke with 140 patients who underwent a heart transplant. His research was published in the sensational book, “Heart’s Code.”
Pearsall believes that the soul is located in the heart – and not the head. The book claims personalities, feelings, fears, dreams and ideas are encoded in the heart’s cells. Pearsall says this «cell memory» is the human soul and can be partially transferred to a patient during a heart transplant.
Pearsall recounts real-life stories of patients who fundamentally changed after receiving a new heart. He talks about a 41-year-old man who suddenly became hot-tempered, agile and enthusiastic after receiving the heart of a 19-year-old girl. His whole life, Pearsall says, the man had been slow and thoughtful. The book also discusses a 35-year-old married woman who received the heart of a 24-year-old female college student. After the operation, she became passionate and began cheating on her husband, although she had once been cold and aloof. Later she learned the donor had earned money for her studies by selling her body.
As convincing as the evidence seems, other transplanted organs have also had an effect on their recipients. After receiving a kidney from a 60-year-old man, a 37-year-old woman went from caring to picky and rude. Her taste in literature dramatically changed from romance novels to the soul-wrenching Dostoevsky.
Even the clocks stop
“A lot of people want to pinpoint the origin of the soul,” Garin said. “Or at least prove the soul exists. Today, serious scientists are researching this subject, such as Professor Charles Tart of the University of California, Davis. The renowned physicist Robert Monroe also founded an institute in Fairway, Virginia. They support an idea that is difficult to comprehend – that part of the conscience lives after the brain’s physical death. They want to find out if the soul exists in a material sense. Their research includes meeting individuals who believe they encountered the soul of a deceased relative days after his/her death.”
Doctor Melvin Morris, a renowned researcher of after-death experiences, discovered that one-fourth of those who experienced this phenomena said their wristwatches stopped when they met their deceased loved one. Morris says this means the soul is accompanied by an energy field strong enough to affect material objects.
Regardless of whether an afterlife truly exists, it’s the faith that matters most.
“It’s much easier to live knowing there’s a possibility to come back or join God,” said Garin.
By Svetlana Kuzina, source: kazan.kp.ru